(Paris) A “sprawling” file for a “little fish” of computer hacking: a French “gamer” accused of attacks against the Cned (distance education) and the video game giant Ubisoft explained himself during a correctional hearing in Paris on Monday.
Yanni O., whose player pseudonym is Y4nn0XX, is targeted in three separate cases that occurred between 2020 and the summer of 2022 in France and Canada.
After an eight-hour hearing, the deliberation was set for July 3. The public prosecutor requested 3 years of imprisonment, including 2 years accompanied by a probationary suspension.
The defendant’s lawyer, however, raised a nullity exception on an important document in the file, arguing that the computer data seized during an initial investigation had been reused without legal basis to make the link with subsequent facts.
The proceedings made it difficult to lift the veil on the personality of the defendant, a puny 22-year-old young man, dressed all in black, described as a “little fish” by a civil party lawyer but “intelligent” and “harmful” by investigator.
Above all, psychiatrists detected in him a “paranoid schizophrenia” resulting in a “mitigation of responsibility”.
An inveterate cheater on numerous video games, banned countless times for his actions, Yanni O. seems “intolerant of frustration”, guess the magistrates.
In the most recent case, he is accused of attacking the company Fuse III, which administers multiplayer servers for the very popular title Minecraft, while it was under judicial review.
While he denies being behind the “denial of service” (DDoS) attacks that resulted in the destruction of computer equipment, according to the company, he must have made direct threats to an employee, published hate messages to terrorist character on a discussion forum and being the author of a song published on YouTube where he presents his grievances against the company.
He also admits to having joined briefly, a year earlier, in the resounding attacks which led to the blocking of the “My class at home” service set up by the Cned (national center for distance education) as part of new measures. to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
His motivations: “to make the buzz” and gain followers on Twitter, he explains between two “nervous” laughs.
The defendant is also accused of several prank calls that led to the intervention of police forces following the denunciation of fabricated criminal acts (a practice called “swatting” in the video game world).
He then wanted to lift the banishment measures he was subject to on the Rainbow 6 shooter, dedicated to the fight against terrorism.
To camouflage his telephone number, the hacker, unemployed and residing with his parents in the Paris suburbs, diverted from its use a remote communication software, whose traces of use were found in his computer, and passed through servers located in Russia.
“I don’t remember doing that,” he told the court, before mentioning an accomplice: an “imaginary double” according to Ubisoft’s lawyer.
He then breathes, “I didn’t realize it was bad [serious]. It was like a game.”